Veterans looking for a VA loan will often need to provide lenders with a copy of their DD Form 214 as proof of service.
Known as the Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, the DD-214 usually contains everything the VA needs in order to determine whether you’re eligible for the home loan benefit.
Lenders can use the DD-214 to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility, which formally documents your eligibility for the home loan benefit.
Let’s take a closer look at what VA buyers need to know about the DD-214.
Active duty military members receive the DD-214 upon separating from the military. There are multiple copies of the DD-214, and some contain more information than others.
Would-be homebuyers will typically provide the Member 4 copy of their DD-214 during the preapproval process. Veterans who separated from the military from January 1, 1950, to September 30, 1979, will have just the DD-214.
Borrowers who separated from active duty prior to 1950 will have different documentation, which will need to show the veteran’s length and character of service.
Veterans who’ve lost or otherwise can’t provide proof of their military service can try obtaining new documents through the VA’s eBenefits online portal. You can also send the SF-180 (Request Pertaining to Military Records) to the appropriate records center noted on the form.
Service members currently on active duty will not have a DD-214 and can instead provide lenders a statement of service.
National Guard and Reserve veterans don’t have single discharge form like the DD-214.
These veterans will usually need to provide documentation about their service history along with evidence of honorable service. Guard veterans can typically use the NGB Form 22 along with their latest retirement points statement. Discharge forms for Reserve veterans vary by branch, but they'll also typically want to include a points statement.
Depending on the nature of their service, some National Guard and Reserve veterans will receive a DD-214.
Talk with a Veterans United loan specialist at 855-259-6455 to learn more about VA loan eligibility for Guard and Reserve veterans.
Some surviving spouses are eligible for the VA home loan benefit. Lenders can help spouses apply for their own Certificate of Eligibility, which requires a completed VA Form 26-1817.
Lenders might also seek a copy of the deceased veteran’s DD-214 to help expedite the process.
Spouses who are eligible as both a surviving spouse and a veteran need to apply for a COE as both a veteran and as a surviving spouse.
Surviving spouses are exempt from paying the VA Funding Fee.
VA loans allow Veterans to have a co-borrower on the loan. Here we break down co-borrower requirements and provide common scenarios around co-borrowing and joint VA loans.
Your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) verifies you meet the military service requirements for a VA loan. However, not everyone knows there are multiple ways to obtain your COE – some easier than others.